High Court order was to stop deportation of newspaper publisher

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 27, 2008) - Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says to date he has not received any court order to stop yesterday’s deportation of Fiji Sun publisher Russell Hunter.

A court order was issued by the High Court in Suva at 9 a.m. yesterday to be served to Immigration officials at Nadi airport. It is understood however, the order was served too late.

"It has been mentioned in the media that there was a court order. But I have not received it," Sayed-Khaiyum said.

"As you know to get a court order you need to serve it to the person against whom the order is made. As to whether the director of immigration received it, you need to talk to him about it," he told journalists today.

"You can bring a court order now against me but if I don’t know you have an order how am I actually going to abide by that order?"

Sayed-Khaiyum added he did not want to speculate on whether or not the court would allow Hunter back into the country.

"We will have to wait and see what course of action is taken by the court."

Hunter was taken from his Tamavua home Monday night by officers claiming to be from the Immigration department. He was put on a Sydney-bound flight Tuesday morning and declared a prohibited immigrant.

Hunter believes the action was taken after the Fiji Sun ran a series of articles revealing the tax details of interim Finance minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

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